Gardenwise | Pergolas

In association with Anne Byrne Garden Design

Do you know what a pergola is? I only ask because I’ve noticed a good bit of confusion around this, especially recently, as people are looking to create outdoor rooms while there are still restrictions on meeting inside – lots of people are asking for pergolas when what they actually need is a veranda, loggia or even an awning. It’s perfectly okay not to have the distinctions at your fingertips – my job as a designer is to help you figure out what’s going to work and the technical terms are beside the point as long as we get where we need to. But a pergola can be a really good addition to your garden so let’s explore some of the things it can do.

It’s essentially an arched structure within a garden, so not typically attached to a house, and is brilliant in larger gardens to define the space or to lead you in a particular direction, maybe with a path underneath. I often design planted borders at either side and traditionally a pergola would have climbing plants allowed to scramble up the uprights and along the overhead beams – but in a contemporary design you could leave the pergola itself bare and just have planting at the base.

You can use a pergola to lead you from one section of the garden to another, maybe with a focal point such as a bench seat or gate at one end, and it can also help to frame the house itself and make the entrance more imposing. In a smaller garden, it can draw the eye inwards, distracting you from the boundaries and bringing height into the space.

Timber’s an obvious choice of material but metal can work too, or you can have a blend – I recently designed a pergola with brick columns or uprights and timber crossbeams, with a rambling rose in shades of cream and apricot to blend beautifully with the brown tones of the brick.

Anne’s Tip of the Week: If you’re adding a pergola to your garden, consider the proportions of both to make sure they work together. Ready made kits are available but you might get a better result if you have your pergola constructed to your own specifications to make sure it suits you and your garden perfectly.

Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.

Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens

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